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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Friday, November 14, 2008

Talk Among Yourselves -- Government Bailing out Newspapers

By Keith R. Schmitz

Hey my friends on the right. I have learned that the things you fear the most can be what you eventually get -- good and hard. We sure learned our lesson with Bush and this time out campaigned for rather than against someone.

You didn't learn your lesson with Bush. I am sure that somewhere in there was a hope that the popularity of W was a tool to keep hated and feared "socialism" out of government.

Now with the financial bailout and the specter of Detroit coming to the trough looks like we will get lots of it. Victor Berger must be jiving in his grave.

So what the hell (pardon me Prof Esenberg for the profanity). Let's go all the way!

I'm time constrained right now, so quoting from the MediaDailyNews e-newsletter:
Maybe newspapers should go after bailout money as "a proactive move to save the only industry prominently mentioned in the Bill of Rights."

Newspapers should embrace a new mission of "preserving educational voices," and ask the government for debt relief and subsidies for digitization. "Think of the license fee British households pay to the BBC. The government could subsidize Amazon's Kindle or similar digital device and mandate that each household purchase one for $50." If nothing else, papers should seek tax credits and offer tax-deductible subscriptions.

Would it work? Barack Obama's civic-minded staffers, "may not love reporters, but they won't want newspapers to go away." It would mean a medium not dominated by "Fox News and bloggers banging on spittle-flecked laptops."
This idea is of course tongue in cheek and from that left wing mag BusinessWeek, but now that the gates of hell (there I go again) have been flung open...

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